Friday, December 31, 2021


 Here are our New Year's Resolutions:

1) Speak out over and over against minimum mandatory sentences. This case, in which a trucker's brakes failed and he was prosecuted and somehow convicted because he passed by a runaway truck ramp and struck and killed four people is the latest and blatant example of the horror of minimum mandatory sentences.  The Min mans in Colorado required a 110-year sentence, which he received. Yes, you read that correctly. One hundred and ten years.  The State of Colorado and the prosecutors and judges all agreed that a sentence that ended in 2131 was correct. Thankfully Colorado Governor Jared Polis (D-Rational) commuted his sentence to ten years with release eligible after five. The article is here. 

2) Drink more black coffee. It can save your life. It reduces inflammation which in turn reduces heart disease and cancer. The article is here. 

3) Try more cases in other federal districts. It's like shooting fish in a barrel. 

4) Buy more crypto (at the right moment). 

5) Pilates? Maybe. 

6) Answer emails quicker. Nothing worse than a jammed email inbox. 

7) Read more classics. They are classics for a reason. 

8) Be nicer to prosecutors. Supposedly you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. 

9) Be nicer to Judges ... ok, just kidding. Eat more fish is more realistic. 

10) Remain anonymous (yawn). 


Anonymous said...

"This case, in which a trucker's brakes failed and he was prosecuted and somehow convicted because he passed by a runaway truck ramp and struck and killed four people is the latest and blatant example of the horror of minimum mandatory sentences."

You sir are totally ignorant and uninformed of the actual facts which lead a jury to unanimously reject the assertion this was a simple accident. You didnt even try to learn the actual facts, they are irrelevant to your narrative. You just jumped on the bandwagon like all the other lemmings.

Anonymous said...

In the trucker case, the Colorado laws provided not just for min mans, but for consecutive min mans in cases of assault in the first degree. The DA overcharged him with 6 counts of assault (60 years) and 10 of attempted assault (50 years) under section 18-3-202 (1)(c) that says that "a person commits first degree assault if, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, he knowingly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another person, and thereby causes serious bodily injury to any person". Missing a runaway truck ramp in a terrifying and stressful moment of brake failure doesn't seem to qualify as "extreme indifference to the value of human life" or as "knowingly engaging in conduct that creates a grave risk of death to another". Actually, the trucker tried to avoid hitting the cars and steered towards another truck to try to get his runaway truck stopped with the smallest chance of injuries possible. Those "assault" counts should have been JOA'd as there was no evidence of "indifference" let alone "extreme indifference" or knowledge, leaving for the jury the counts of vehicular homicide, reckless driving and careless driving causeing death.

Anonymous said...

The Colorado incident was a terrible and tragic accident - a lethal combination of a young and inexperienced driver on a notoriously dangerous stretch of I-70, operating what may have been a poorly maintained vehicle.

Who knows how any of us would react in that situation? As panic sets in and you’re desperately trying to get an 18 wheeler to stop. Perhaps he missed the truck stop because he was paralyzed by fear (paralysis by fear is a real thing) or his periphery was narrowed by the rush of adrenaline (tunnel vision - ask any police officer or member of the military who’s been in a gunfight).

In sum, it seems like this is a civil case where the trucking company would be liable for poor training and poor maintenance of its fleet).

And maybe there should be some criminal liability on the driver. Maybe a permanent CDL revocation and a term of probation.

But 110 years? And to charge him in the first place where 110 years was a possibility? That’s the real crime.

The DAs we’re celebrating this win before social media got ahold of it. They made a trophy out of one of the brake components from the wreck.

And only after social media exposed the horror of a life sentence for a young man who was involved in a terrible accident did they try to virtue signal and ask the judge to reduce the sentence. The State knew coming into this case and charging this man with 27 counts that 110 years was not just a possible sentence, it would be the required sentence!

And of course those in support of a 24 year old immigrant with no criminal history doing life for an accident would say, “how would you feel if it were your family members he killed?”

I’d be livid. I’d want to kill him myself. But hell…I’ve had my car broken into and I would’ve wanted the death penalty for that asshole. So basing Justice on the emotional response of the victim is not how a system is supposed to work. That’s not Justice; that’s state sponsored revenge.

Anonymous said...

I agree Mr. Rumpy. It's hard to be nice to some of the judge at JGB. Maybe this year, Ellen Venzer will grow a heart with kindness, Bill Altfield will give a defendant just one break, Carmen Cabarga will stop trying to control everyone, Joe Fernandez would finally grant just one early termination for probation without a death certificate, Tom Rebull would realize why he was voted out and learn from that mistake and Richard Hersch would stop yelling at everyone.

Anonymous said...

10:12 AM, you are quite correct. The trucker was paralyzed by fear and said that, right before the crash, he hugged the steering wheel tight, closed his eyes and expected to die.

Anonymous said...

12:44, oh the days when you could walk into the MJB (as it was called then) and appear in front of Ed Cowart … You might win, you might lose (Rumpy and I did quite little of the latter), but you knew you were in front of a JUDGE … There are those who would argue we need to get back to that

Anonymous said...

The fetish on these blogs for the good old days of old white male judges is gross and racist and sexist and shit. In the last decade we have had a bunch of outstanding outstanding outstanding women judges headed by the chief judge herself Nushin Sayfie, but also Lisa Walsh, Jennifer Bailey, Beth Bloom, Lourdes Simon, Flor Lobree, Monica Gordo, Yvonne Colodny. Also excellent black judges like William Thomas and Darrin Gayles. Let's not forget the great hispanic judges Rudy Ruiz, Peter Lopez, and Miguel De La O. Keep fetishizing old white guys like Hanzman and Cowart you racist fucks.

Kissimmee Kid said...

A poster argued in favor of neutral and independent magistrates saying, "There are those who would argue we need to get back to that." Argue all you want, it ain't gunna happen.

The Florida Supreme Court is on a partisan mission to replace magistrates with case managers, bureaucratic functionaries moving matters to officially sanctioned outcomes. There is no room in our bright new future for individualized determinations founded on the particular circumstances of a specific case. Guidelines must be followed.

Anonymous said...

Rump, as much as I love the Blog and admire the great job you have done with it, I’m pretty disappointed that you allowed 5:14’s comment as-is. Calling someone a “racist fuck” for posting a favorable comment about an undisputed legal giant like Ed Cowart is not something that this Blog should permit. I could debate the merits of the Cowart post, and explain how it is in no way “gross and racist and sexist and shit”, but if you allow comments like the **** at 5:14 (won’t take the bait to descend to name-calling), then we all know where this would end up. New Year’s resolution - speak your mind if you must, but be civil and respectful to others - how about that?

Anonymous said...

Rump, this is a quick follow up to the comment I just sent. You don’t have to post this one, but in thinking about it, would you allow someone to reply to the “racist fuck” comment by saying “blah, blah, blah, you stupid, ignorant fuck”? I think not.

Rumpole said...

I posted the comment because stupid comments should be posted. The light of day is the best antiseptic

Anonymous said...

That's why you're a great lawyer, because as angry as I initially was, my immediate reaction to your explanation was "yeah, that makes sense". Go Rumpole !!

Anonymous said...

I’ve been around a long time. Some of the judges from yesteryear were definitely biased and perhaps even racist. However there were also some excellent ones. Throughout my career, I’ve always heard ( he’s before my time) that Cowart was then crème la crème. Hanzman, hands down, has been one of the best jurist around. Calling people “ racist fucks” because of admiration for judges that clearly deserves the accolades just shows you’re an angry person, not to mention your watering down the term “ racist”

Anonymous said...

I only disagree with No 6: "Answer e-mails faster."
No: the better plan is to wait at least 24 hours before responding, beyond letting a client know you have received their inquiry, and will respond soon. Especially if the e-mail you are responding to if from opposing counsel: (1) remember that the SAO's, the Judges', and various agencies' (including but not limited to The Florida Bar) emails are all "public records," so what you say is carved in possibly harmful stone; (2) in the interval, you are virtually guaranteed to have thought of better response(s) than the one that first leaped to your mind.
* * *
I practiced before Judge Cowart, who saved my neophyte self from embarrassment on at least one occasion, and I also got him reversed in a high-profile but non-criminal case. He was a bright guy, had excellent manners to all, and had the wisdom that you can only get from experience.
Judge Hanzman is doing a fantastic job with the Surfside matter, a bunch of meritorious fact scenarios that would surely challenge King Solomon on his best day. J Hanzman has long and real experience with high-dollar and high-profile litigation, and the participants should all be unendingly grateful for his masterful handling of the Surfside cases.